Speaker of Parliament, Advocate Jacob Mudenda has issued a stern warning to Members of Parliament (MPs) who fail to attend parliamentary sessions despite being booked at Harare hotels.
Addressing few Parliamentarians who attended yesterday’s session, Mudenda declared that those who do not attend will not receive their sitting allowances, emphasizing the importance of fulfilling their duties and obligations to the citizens they represent.
“All Members who come to Harare and they are housed in hotels are obligated to attend in person. I am instructing the Clerk of Parliament that any Member who is housed in a hotel and does not attend will not receive their sitting allowances accordingly. We owe it to the taxpayer to be in Parliament in terms of the facilities afforded us. We cannot be seen to betray that trust from the taxpayers,” said Mudenda.
Mudenda tasked the Sergeant-at-Arms with implementing measures to track attendance and ensure that those who do not attend parliamentary sessions are withheld from receiving their allowances.
“Sergeant-at-Arms, you start now and ensure that those who are not attending today (Wednesday) shall not receive their allowances for two times,” the Speaker declared, illustrating the seriousness with which he regards this matter.
Concerns have been raised over the unavailability of Cabinet Ministers who are supposed to answer policy questions posed by Members of Parliament in the house.
A lawmaker who spoke on condition of anonymity attributed the absence of most Zanu PF legislators to the recent primary elections loses.
“Most Zanu PF legislators who lost during the primary elections were absent and they feel that its not necessary to attend Parliament business. The move by Advocate Mudenda is commendable and should cascade to the next Parliament because we cannot waste tax payer’s money paying non performing MPs. The way both Zanu PF and CCC Parliamentarians are taking Parly business is a disservice to those that elected them,” said the lawmaker.
Yesterday’s session was attended by four Members of Parliament from neighbouring Mozambique who have accompanied their President Felipe Nyusi who is on a three-day State visit to Zimbabwe.